My name is Mya Wilder.
I’m a human. And I’m about to be matched to an alien, whether I like it or not.
Fate, they called it. Destiny that I and my sister ended up here at the Celestial Mates Dating Agency.
They said we were saved, that now we’d find our happily ever after since we’d escaped the confines of Earth. I didn’t dare get my hopes up. Why did I deserve wedded bliss, when so many before me had lost it all? I’d seen too much death and sadness to hope for a happy ending of my own.
It was at times like these that I thought of my family, my friends.
Everything had changed.
I sighed, squeezing my nose with two fingers, a headache brewing between my eyes. I tried to listen to the lecturer up front, but I had trouble focusing. Instead, I found myself caught up in memories of the past.
Ten years ago, my mother had torn my sister and me away from Earth. That’s when the Vakarrans came. We’d lost our home. Our livelihood. Everything gone.
The Vakarrans were known far and wide as ruthless invaders. They were conquerors. They took what they wanted, when they wanted. Their strength and technological prowess destroyed the entirety of the human empire in an impossibly short amount of time.
No longer were humans at the top of the food chain.
The Vakarrans were.
They were our predators and we were the prey.
We were lucky. We had money. My family was able to get away before the aliens came for Earth. Before they claimed the men as their slaves. Before they took the fertile females for breeders. Before they started looking for us.
Our escape had been in place for weeks before the aliens came. We said goodbye to friends, family, and our home. Everything was seemingly going according to plan.
Then, my entire world had fallen apart.
I hadn’t known about my father’s illness. None of us had.
He’d been dead within a week. Terminal. Glioblastoma. The diagnosis had been quick and his prognosis extremely grim. Too far developed for any sort of medical technology to be of help. They’d given him only days to live.
It had come out of nowhere.
There had been no time to grieve. His death had occurred on the day before our trip, and it suddenly became only me, my sister, and my mother. We became our own sisterhood. We survived together.
We were able to get out before the Vakarrans arrived on Earth. Days after we left, they attacked. The invasion was swift, brutal, and utterly decisive. The entire thing was publicized on the space-wide news station. Reporters sent satellite drones in to video the carnage.
Earth hadn’t stood a chance.
The Vakarrans were a strange race. They were exclusively male. Their species did not biologically conceive females, so they needed to find, conquer, and enslave compatible races in order to fulfill their need for genetically compatible females.
Money had been our escape. The Celestial Mates Dating Agency had been our salvation.
After we’d arrived, my mother had been quickly matched and sent away. Biological scans indicated that she still had a few fertile years left, so she’d risen to the top of the match list out of immediate necessity. I hadn’t seen or heard from her since.
I was next on the match list. I’d turned twenty-one last year, but there had been others that had to be matched before me. I’m not sure how they decided on the match order, but I’d been in no rush to be sent away to some alien planet I didn’t understand, so I never asked. Now that it was my turn, I waited nervously, knowing that any day could be my last here at the dating agency.
My sister Lea, though, was more than excited enough for the two of us. She was young when the Vakarran invasion happened and I had tried my best to keep her from watching the news reports of the violence and death. I kept her sheltered because that’s what older sisters did. It was my duty. She still believed in hope, love, and fated mates, unlike me.
I didn’t believe in any of that. But I didn’t stop her from hoping for her happy ever after either.
Right now, they had me sitting in a lecture discussing all the merits of their match system; how they use brain scans, DNA analysis, in combination with assessments of daily behavior in order to match us to an alien somewhere in space that’s our perfect one and only love. It all sounded like complete and utter bullshit to me.
The woman up front was rattling off about something involving the computer and how it processed genetic, epigenetic, and environmental behaviors in order to best make a match, but I was hardly listening. I didn’t really care how it happened. All I knew was that their system was running all my data right now.
I’d know who my match was in less than twenty-four hours.
At least, that’s what my wrist com told me. Absentmindedly, I brushed my finger over the metal wristband on my right arm and the holo screen visible only to me popped up before my eyes. In the upper left-hand corner was a countdown, indicating when the computer would be finished calculating my match.
I licked my lips.
I wondered what he’d be like.
If he’d be cruel. Loving. Tame. Boring.
That is, if I’d even match at all.
I wondered if maybe I’d be the first female in history at the dating agency to fail the match process. Become a crazy cat lady or something. That was what they said about old unwedded spinsters, right?
The woman lecturing up front continued to drone on.
My sister would be put in the matching pool soon, but it would probably be some time before they ended up matching her. They’d take the time to scan her and assess her over time. They liked to have a lot of data before they attempted the match process. The people who ran the dating agency claimed that was one of the reasons that their success rate was so high. Ninety-nine-point nine percent, they said.
I couldn’t help but think about that small, zero-point-one percent. Who were those women? What happened when their match didn’t work out? Did they match again? Did they get sent off somewhere to live a life of loneliness?
The pessimist inside of me assumed I’d end up like one of them.
I crossed my legs and sat back, pretending like I was paying attention to the lecture when I was just watching the clock on my personal screen. Five more minutes and then I’d be free to use the rest of the day for whatever I wanted. Usually, our days were pretty structured with various courses and electives, but today I was given more free time than usual.
The dating agency believed that the women they match should be intelligent and well-rounded, meaning we had to learn the material ourselves rather than just using the search function of our coms or data uploads to our brain microchips. It was a total pain in the ass, but it kept me busy at least. Kept my mind off my future alien husband.
One of the courses I’d elected to take was self-defense. I’d learned to fight with a knife, a gun, a hydrogen-powered revolver, as well as my own body. I mastered everything because I knew how important it was for me to remain strong, to own the rights to my own body even though I was about to be matched to some random alien that was probably going to be bigger, stronger, and more powerful than me. Supposedly.
I’d take care of myself. I’d fight. No matter what it took.
Finally, the clock beeped once, a low monotone sound that indicated that it was time for lunch. The woman up front nodded once and disappeared, one of the many holograms they used to teach the more basic lectures. My stomach growled excitedly, and I licked my lips.
I got up and walked out of the room. Lea bounced out of the door across the hall and grinned when she saw me.
“So, are you nervous?” she questioned excitedly.
“No, I really just want it to be over with,” I responded.
“I’m going to miss you,” she whispered forlornly, and I wrapped my arm around her shoulder.
“Don’t you worry your pretty little head,” I chided. “Once you get your own match, you’ll forget about me.”
“I’ll never forget you,” she replied with a pout.
“Don’t forget our coms. They work all over space and I’ll get your messages there. Wherever we end up, we’ll always have that. Pen pals for life,” I grinned.
Her lips drew back up into a smile.
“You’re right,” she said, her eyes crinkling at the corners with her joy. She studied me for a long moment, searching in my gaze for something I couldn’t quite identify.
I looked away, afraid she would see my hesitancy. Walking down the hall, I grabbed her wrist and pulled her toward the cafeteria.
“Come on. I’m hungry. I think they had pizza on the menu for today and you know that’s one of my favorites,” I exclaimed, hoping to distract her from whatever she was thinking.
She took the bait.
“I love pizza! I hope they have jalapeños and pepperoni on it this time!”
I just shook my head.
Ever the optimist, that Lea.
The rest of the day passed quickly. My sister and I were given leave to enjoy the time together and we watched old movies and played some games together using the agency’s total immersion virtual reality gaming system. Together, we defeated the evil lord and rescued the princess from the enemy. The entire afternoon was fantastic, and I almost forgot that I was being sent away to somewhere unknown the following day.
We stayed up late into the night, wondering if my alien match would have horns, if he’d be ten feet tall, if he’d be blue or red or purple or even green. The two of us both shuddered at the mention of tentacles.
“Ewwww,” Lea shouted at the top of her lungs and we descended into a fit of giggles. Moments later, an automated noise detection system powered on, and a robotic computerized voice scolded us for our behavior and we laughed even harder. A quiet lavender mist spray floated down from the vent in the ceiling and we both sighed, soothed by the aromatic scent.
My lids grew heavy and I realized there was probably some sort of sleeping medication in the mist; the two of us grew quiet. I fell asleep a very short time later.
When we woke in the morning, I felt fully rested and rejuvenated.
I climbed out of bed and approached the automated food delivery teleporter. Using the touch screen, I ordered a cup of black tea for myself and a sweetened coffee for Lea. The machine whirred to life and within ten seconds, two steaming cups showed up in the teleportation window. I opened the glass and took both back to the coffee table in front of our small loveseat.
“Come and get it,” I said softly while my sister groaned. She rubbed her eyes and looked over at me.
“Only a few more hours,” she whispered sadly, climbing out of bed and moving slowly toward me. She lifted the cup of coffee from the table and sat down beside me.
“Have they given you any data yet?” she asked.
I passed my finger over my wristband, looking at the counter that now only showed ninety minutes. I realized it was later than I thought and that the two of us had missed breakfast. It was Saturday though, and the rules were a little different on weekends, plus the two of us were on special leave for a little bit longer.
Until I matched, anyway.
I knew they’d call me soon, for processing.
Last-minute examinations, treatments, my translator implantation. The works. I chewed my lip and stared down at my tea nervously. Was I ready for this? Did I want this to happen?
Lea placed her hand on my thigh and squeezed gently.
“It’ll be fine. You’ll see,” she whispered softly, almost as if she understood how anxious I was feeling then.
My screen flashed before my eyes as I sipped my tea.
It was time to go. I turned and looked at Lea, feeling my skin run cold.
My sister kissed me on the cheek.
“It’ll be just fine. Trust in the process,” she whispered.
I forced a smile on my face and squeezed her hands in mine.
“I love you,” I whispered, straining to keep tears from falling. I loved my sister. She’d been my world for the past ten years. My only friend and confidant. And now we were being forced apart. I’d known this was coming though. I should have been more prepared for it, but what could I have done differently? How can you prepare for that kind of loss?
“I’ll come visit when I can,” she whispered. I hoped she was right. I hoped we’d be able to see one another after everything. After I matched. And after she matched.
“Let’s go. I’ll walk you there,” she added.
She took my arm in hers and led me down the hallway to my fate.
Lea led me down halls and corridors I’d known for what felt like a lifetime, but it was all a blur. I didn’t keep track of right or left turns, just focused on putting one foot in front of the other. In what felt like a snap of the fingers, we were standing at the entrance to the medical wing.
My countdown clock now said sixty minutes. I knew how the process worked. How once I was matched, I’d be sent off in a spaceship to the planet I’d been matched to, where my alien husband would be there to fetch me.
I bit my lip. I wonder if they’d let me go into cryopreservation until I arrived wherever I was going. I tried to control my panic.
My sister squeezed my hand.
“Remember, Mya, we’re the lucky ones,” she whispered. “Billions would kill for this opportunity. Make the best of it, okay? Promise me?”
Her words broke me from my dark thoughts. Her blue eyes, bright and hopeful, stared into mine. I pulled back my shoulders and took a deep breath, putting on the strongest face I could muster. It actually made me feel better too.
I could do this. She was right.
“I’ll miss you, Lea. Love you,” I responded, pulling her into a tight hug. Her fingers held me tight, digging into my skin, but I didn’t care.
“Love you too, sis. See you soon,” she replied, trying to sound happy, but her voice shook with unshed tears just like mine.
“Yeah, see you soon,” I said, releasing her.
There were attendants waiting for me inside the medical wing. I turned toward them and they led the way. I looked back and waved at Lea and she grinned at me, waving goodbye herself.
Once I was inside, someone took me off into a small room with what looked like a hundred different medical devices. I was strapped to a gurney and they took scans of my head and of my body, all things I’ve had done before, so it wasn’t anything out of the ordinary. One of the attending doctors took a hold of my right ear and held a small device over top of it.
I shut my eyes as I felt a spray numb my ear. Small robotic arms moved against my skin and before I knew it, the language implant had been inserted deep in my ear cavity, where it would root and connect directly with the nerves of my brain. With it, I’d understand any language that I’d ever encounter, no matter where I ended up.
Finally, after being poked and prodded for a bit longer, including being completely lasered free of body hair, my skin treated for brightness and softness, and my hair deeply and permanently conditioned, it was all over.
It was time to see my match.
I was brought to another room with a huge screen, where only a few seconds were left on the counter. I watched it nervously, fidgeting with my fingers against the anxiety in my belly. The countdown seemed to last forever.
“Match Process Complete.”
The monotone computerized female voice was soothing, and the monitor went black for a long moment before a red screen with the words ‘match results’ in white came up.
I’d been matched to a Drugan.
I’d heard that name before somewhere. That was some sort of dragon shifter alien species. They were humanoid in nature, with the ability to shift into dragons at will. But last I knew, they’d been invaded by the very same aliens Earth had, the Vakarrans, some twenty years ago or so. I didn’t think they’d recovered enough to be part of the Celestial Mates matching pool yet, but maybe I’d been wrong.
The attendants surrounding me began to whisper but I tried to ignore it.
A picture of him popped up on the right. His skin was the color of a ripe cherry and he had to pointed horns coming out of either side of his head, like a bull’s. His eyes were dark, his irises a gloomy gray. His gaze was intense and consuming, powerful. Just like the devil’s.
A man who was used to being obeyed.
His name was Prince Radock.
Fuck. He was royalty.
I sighed. It was then, I realized his picture wasn’t just a picture, but a live feed. We were seeing each other for the very first time.
His eyes narrowed then widened with pleasure. I felt his gaze drag up and down my body, trying to see what I had to offer beneath my clothes. It felt dirty and I was uncomfortable.
Wasn’t this supposed to be love at first sight?
“Nice to meet you, Mya,” he murmured, his voice low, gravelly, masculine.
“Likewise, Prince Radock,” I managed to murmur before looking away.
Something about this didn’t seem quite right. For a long moment, everything was completely silent.
And that’s when the entire Celestial Mates Dating Agency station tilted and shook. Like we’d hit an asteroid or some debris, only when it happened for a second time, I knew that wasn’t what it was.
Someone yelled beside me.
We were under attack.
Deep in my belly, I knew it was something terrible. I wondered if it was the Vakarrans. If they’d finally come to take me away from all this.
The moment I’d intercepted the interstellar communication with Mya’s files, I’d known I had to have her. I’d shown my comrades and they wanted her too. And the moment we decided she was ours, it was already done.
She was human, genetically compatible with my kind. Just begging to be taken with those pretty blue eyes and pouty red lips and hair the color of fire.
I was Vakarran. We were conquerors, invaders, men to be feared across the far reaches of space. We took what we needed, when we needed it, without asking for permission first.
And we were going to take her.
It was what my species was known for. Not long ago, we’d found Earth, which had provided a steady stream of women for us for ten years now.
Well. Not exactly for me anymore. We were exceptions to the rule. We didn’t have any women of our own. It wasn’t an option.
I and my three comrades, Dex, Ejan and Biran, were once a part of one of the key intel divisions of the ISS Starrider. We ran data, found potential planets with biologically compatible species, intercepted intel that might be important to us in our conquests. Only that wasn’t our official title anymore. Not since we’d been exiled anyway.
Some time ago, Commander Strohass had taken over the Starrider, our main military space station, making him our immediate superior. He hadn’t liked how we’d responded to one of his mandatory orders, one that required us to frame an innocent man for a crime Strohass himself had committed. We’d refused to manipulate data and plant evidence at his request and he’d exiled us for it. The political corruption in the upper levels was awful, based entirely on nepotism and bribery.
Fucking asshole. Last I knew, he’d actually been murdered or something, but the investigation hadn’t produced the perpetrator. He’d replaced with someone new. Some Commander Nix, from the recent data I’d come across. I didn’t know much about him otherwise, but I really didn’t care. Probably an equally disgusting bastard cut from the same cloth. That’s how things worked within the upper ranks of power.
No matter. We were better off without them anyway.
We had our own spaceship, The Vengeance, and we went where we wanted, when we wanted. We made a living obtaining particular merchandise for a choosy clientele, some of it legal and some of it illegal. I made my own rules now.
Like deciding to take a woman just because we could.
I wanted her. We wanted her. And we were going to take her and claim her as our own.
We’d changed our destination coordinates immediately once I announced our plans. My comrades could hardly contain their excitement. They were ravenous, ready for a new adventure as we’d just been skimming revenue through online hacks for some time now, pinching small jobs here and there, traveling across the galaxy in search of another big haul. I and my comrades needed a challenge. And we’d found the biggest one yet.
A biologically compatible woman. A mate to bear our children.
Fuck. My dick hardened just thinking about it. I narrowed my eyes, watching the fancy space station come into view before us.
Hyper speed had brought us straight to the dating agency through a wormhole. Travel had been less than fifteen minutes once I’d punched the coordinates into the mainframe. A basic scan of the station indicated adequate defenses. I noted that there was a pretty powerful shield protecting the whole thing, as well as a few weapons that were mainly for defensive purposes. It was a stronghold to most everyone else, except for us, the Vakarrans.
I activated one of our antimatter missiles and set it free. It didn’t make a dent in the shield, but it announced our presence to the massive station, shaking it a little. Alarms started going off inside and after a long minute, I sent off another in warning, one more powerful that jolted the entire mainframe.
If they didn’t contact me soon, I was going to start getting serious.
I waited and when a series of beeps indicating a connecting stream met my ear, I smiled with victory. Beside me, Dex, Ejan, and Biran chuckled under their breath.
Too fucking easy.
Within moments, there was a message waiting for me asking what I wanted.
I replied with simply her name.
Soon, I’d have a woman in my arms. A woman to share among my squad of four men.
I activated the GPS tracker in the com she wore around her wrist and used my tech to figure out exactly where she was on the ship, ensuring those around her were conforming to my demands.
The station was shaped like a large cone, with hallways shooting out parallel to each other so that it looked like a cylindrical comb. Mya was in one of the rooms at the top, where there was a small ship waiting to embark to her destination.
I sat back watching.
With a few keystrokes, I activated the camera in her com and saw that she was being herded onto a small commuter vessel. I recognized the model, the Starz X475, an automated personal craft that had room for only one or two people. It could simply be programmed to its destination coordinates. No pilot needed. Mya was led on board and one person entered with her, programming the ship for travel. Then he left. Leaving her all alone.
“She’s yours. Take her and leave us then,” the next message read.
I grinned so hard my cheeks hurt.
“We have an accord,” I replied.
Beside me, Dex, Ejan, and Biran were already whooping with our triumph when the little ship sped away. We followed and hacked into the mainframe of the vessel. It was an easy takeover, the software powering the ship little more than a firewall or two to break through. Once we were in, we powered down the accelerator and changed the coordinates to halt directly beneath our ship.
I watched the expression on Mya’s face through her cam. One of fear, anxiety, and confusion.
She was not going to be expecting us.
But I didn’t care. I was Vakarran. I took what I wanted. And her, I wanted.
Our own ship settled over top of hers and I directed the cargo hold to open and take the ship inside, using the gravity interceptor to pull her vessel into ours. After that, I programmed our own ship to a different sector of the galaxy, activating hyper speed once again. I didn’t need the dating agency for anything else. I’d leave them be.
Now that we had our prize, we were going to go collect her.
The four of us hastily rose out of our chairs and rushed out of command headquarters. We raced through corridors we’d traveled through every day, down stairwells and into the cargo bay, where her tiny little ship was waiting. Where she was waiting for us.
Her vessel powered down completely, fooled into thinking it had reached its destination; the entry doors opened and a small staircase descended down to the steel floor. I took the moment to study the vessel. It was fairly round, with a pointed front where the main engines were located. Just enough to power a round trip back and forth with the delivery of a solitary female.
And there she was. Our prize. Mya Wilder. Ripe for the taking.
She lifted her head and met my eyes first. They went wide for a moment, with what looked like fear before she steeled herself with courage. It was then I realized how blue her eyes were. Like the color of the bluest water you’d ever seen. So blue that they looked like a brilliant teal, a glittering gemstone in their intensity. Full black lashes framed those beautiful irises, drawing me to them like I’d never felt before.
Her lips were a dusky rose color, plump and just begging to be kissed. A gentle blush caressed her cheeks and her little pink tongue darted out, licking her upper lip with a seductiveness that immediately made me think what that beautiful mouth could do when it surrounded my cock.
I shivered a little at the thought.
Her hair was long, a gorgeous mane of dark burgundy that begged for me to run my hands through it. To wrap my hands around its length and pull her head back, to force her to look up at me, to submit to me. My dick hardened into iron just thinking about it.
I couldn’t wait to feel her pretty little cunt clench down on my cock.
She stepped down the stairs from the small vessel, clearly unsure as she looked from me and to my comrades. I was able to see her completely for the first time. Wearing a simple black t-shirt and dark gray jeans, she stood tall, watching us with slight confusion and obvious concern. She knew we were Vakarrans, that much was clear.
Her body though, fucking delicious.
Her perky breasts weren’t very big but would be the perfect sized handful for me and my comrades. A long, lean torso led to delicious, curvy hips that begged for me to grab on and use them as handles to fuck her from behind. I took a deep shuddering breath.
She was perfect. And now she was ours.
I couldn’t wait to train her, use her, and break her completely. And she’d love every second of it.